WANLI 1573 – 1620. Ming Porcelain

A Rare 16th Century Ming Porcelain Blue and White Saucer Shaped Dish, Early Wanli c.1580. Decorated with Male and Female Mandarin Ducks (Aix galericulata), Swimming Among Lotus. The Reverse Decorated with Branches of Peach.


Very good, tiny pierced hole in the foot for suspension.
Diameter : 20 cm (8 inches)
S.Marchant & Son, London (Label to base). A Private Collection.
Stock number



Mandarin Ducks :
Mandarin Ducks (Aix galericulata), are referred to by the Chinese as Yuan-yang, they are frequently depicted in Chinese art and are regarded as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity. A Chinese proverb for loving couples uses the Mandarin Duck as a metaphor: "Two mandarin ducks playing in water". The Mandarin Duck symbol is also used in Chinese weddings, because in traditional Chinese lore they symbolize wedded bliss and fidelity. The reason for this metaphor is because unlike other species of ducks, most Mandarin drakes reunite with the hens they mated with along with their offspring after the eggs have hatched and even share scout duties in watching the ducklings closely. Though even with both parents securing the ducklings, most of them do not survive to reach adulthood.
Lotus :
The lotus is one of the most important symbols in the Chinese art. This Buddhist emblem is a symbol of purity, as the perfect flower grows out of muddy ponds without a stain. The words for lotus in Chinese has the same meaning as to bind, connect (in marriage). It is one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism. It is the flower used to represent summer.